MCHS hosts blood drive on Wednesday

LOCAL NEWS — There is zero evidence that the COVID-19 virus can spread through blood donation or transfusion. Despite that fact, health officials say they are beginning to see a drop off in blood donations due to public fears.

Should an outbreak happen in Tennessee, the last thing hospitals need to worry about is adequate blood supplies for trauma and cancer patients. The good news is that you can help. The American Red Cross will host a blood drive at Moore County High School on Wednesday, March 11 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. To make an advanced appointment, click here.

MCHS is located at 1502 Lynchburg Highway. For more information, call 800.733.2767 or visit the American Red Cross website. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Moore County … covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

What Moore County needs to know about the 2020 Census

It’s been happening for 230 years and counting and Moore County residents will begin to see postcards in their mailboxes around mid-March inviting them to participate in 2020 U.S. Census. Residents may complete the form either online, by phone, or my mail. We’ve put together a list of key facts to answer any question you may have about the process:

Why do I have to participate? In short, it’s the law. The U.S. Constitution – Article 1, Section 2 to be exact – mandates that we take an accurate counting of all living persons inside the United Stated every 10 years.

Who is counted? The Census counts every person living inside the United Stated regardless of citizenship. The 2020 Census does not include a citizenship question.

What does the Census ask? It’s a short questionnaire with less that 10 questions per person. It includes your first and last name, sex, age, and race. That’s it. Click here to view a sample of the questions. Census takers will never ask about your religion, political affiliations, or income. They will also never ask for your Social Security number of financial information.

Will they keep my information private? Yes … but only for a certain amount of time. All Census answers remain anonymous and they are kept confidential for 72 years. After that, your information is released to the National Archives.

What happens if I don’t answer the form? If you choose not to voluntarily respond online, by phone, or by mail before May 1, then a U.S. Census worker will visit your home to collect the information in person. By law, they can come back up to six times.

What should I do if I suspect the person at my door doesn’t really work for the U.S. Census? All U.S. Census worker wear official identification complete with an ID badge number. If you suspect the person, get their badge number and call the U.S. Census Regional Office to verify them. Tennessee is located in the Philadelphia Regional office along with Delaware, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia. You can reach them at 800.262.4236 or via email at Philadelphia.Regional.Office@census.gov.

And remember, by law, your answers on the U.S. Census can never be used against you by any government agency or court. Getting an accurate count of every person living in Moore County is important. Census numbers help determine how billions in federal dollars are spent. They also determine how many seats in Congress the State of Tennessee gets. For more information, visit the U.S. Census website. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Moore County … covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

MUD announces billing, due date changes

LOCAL NEWS — The Metro Utilities Department announced on Tuesday that they’ll be making significant billing changes beginning in July. As a result, your due dates, invoice format, and account numbers will all be changing.

According to a press release, the changes will happen “to allow enhanced usage information and more online options for reviewing and paying your water bill.” Consequently, all water meters will be read on the last full week of any given month and all MUD bills will arrive the first week of the month. Then bills will be due no later than the 15th of each month.

“We understand that you may have to make adjustments to accommodate the new due date,” MUD officials told The Times. “During the months of July and August, we will waive any penalty or late fee for bills due on the 15th and not paid until after the 25th of the month. Any payment received after the 25th of the month will incur a 10% penalty.”

After the month of August, all due dates and penalties will be applied as stated on the bill. Any customer on automatic payments through ACH, will see those payments post on the 15th unless that date falls on a weekend. In that case, automatic payments will be processed the first business day after the 15th.

Starting in July, members can also login into the Metro Utility Department website to view their usage, or pay their bills online.

“We’re excited about many of the new offerings we will be able to provide in the future as a result of this change but we also understand how changing the due date can be disruptive. That’s why we will work with you to make this transition as easy as possible,” MUD officials said.

For more information, contact the MUD offices at 931.759.4297. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

UPDATE: MC holds cheerleading tryouts on new date

LOCAL NEWS — Organizers have changed a couple of important dates for students and parent of students interested in trying out for the middle school and varsity cheerleader squads.

Tonight there will be a mandatory parent and potential candidate meeting at MCHS at 5:30 p.m. In this meeting, students and parents will be given all the information they need to participate in tryouts.

Tryouts will take place on March 5. Routine reviews and mock tryouts will take place at 5:30 p.m. Regular tryouts will take place on March 6. For questions or additional details, contact Head Cheerleading Coach Erin Bell Rutledge. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

DREMC says “right tree, right place” ahead of Tennessee Tree Day

LOCAL NEWS — Plant the right tree in the right place. That’s the advice of Duck River Electric Membership Corporation (DREMC) as Tennessee Tree Day approaches on March 21.

“When planting trees, be sure to know how tall the tree will be at maturity to avoid interference with overhead power lines,” DREMC President and CEO Scott Spence urges. “Trees planted too close to power lines can not only cause outages but also pose safety concerns.”

Tennessee Tree Day is an annual event that encourages Tennessee residents to order, plant and nurture a new seedling to beautify their personal properties and communities. Seedlings must be pre-ordered and purchased by March 1 at this link. The site provides a list of native tree species available through the Tennessee Tree Day event and participating tree pick-up locations, including DREMC’s Chapel Hill office at 4637 Nashville Highway where four trees will be distributed: Southern Red Oak, Tulip Poplar, Redbud and Indigo Bush.

Trees cost $2.49 to $4.99 per tree depending on species. Bare root seedlings received through this program are 1 to 3 feet tall. Trees are available only by pre-ordering; no extra trees will be at the pick-up locations. Trees ordered through the Tennessee Tree Day campaign must be picked up at participating locations on Friday, March 20 during the times listed on the website.

Spence says that a guide to planting the right tree in the right place relative to power lines can be found at www.dremc.com/the-right-tree-in-the-right-place.

Some trees like the Indigo Bush are expected to reach 15 feet tall and spread up to 10 feet while others like the Southern Red Oak can grow up to 80 feet tall with a spread of 70 feet wide. Such details are included in the online tree order form.•

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Metro Council names 2020 boards and committee members

LOCAL NEWS — The Metro Moore County Council named and approved committee member for 2020 on Monday night. They are as follows:

Budget Committee: Amy Cashion (Chair), John Taylor, Gordon Millsaps, David Boyce, and Gerald Burnett

Finance Committee: Lynn Harrison (Chair), Sandy Lewis, Wayne Hawkins, Keith Moses, and Shawn Adams

Industrial Board: Tommy Brown (chair), Sunny Rae Moorehead, Wayne Hawkins, Keith Moses, and Arvis Bobo

Policy and Procedures Committee: Arvis Bobo (chair), Sunny Rae Moorehead, Meghan Bailey, Houston Lindsey, and Gerald Burnett

Ambulance, Jail and Fire Committee: David Boyce (chair), Amy Cashion, John Taylor, Houston Lindsey, and Denning Harder

Building and Grounds Committee: Sandy Lewis (chair), Meghan Bailey, Houston Lindsey, Shawn Adams, and Denning Harder

Highway Advisory Board: Wayne Hawkins (chair), Sandy Lewis, Gordon Millsaps, Arvis Bobo, and Denning Harder

The Metro Council meets on the third Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the American Legion Building. To have your item added to the agenda, contact Mayor Lewis’s office at 931-759-7076.•

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Metro Moore seeks FEMA reimbursement

LOCAL NEWS — According to the Tims Ford Dam rain gauge, Moore County received over 11 inches of rain from February 5-12. During that time period, Metro Public Safety officials received 49 calls about flooding and downed trees, according to Director Jason Deal.

On Wednesday, February 12, a severe thunderstorm with intense straight line winds blew through southern, middle Tennessee around 6:30 p.m. That single night the Metro call center received 17 calls reporting downed trees. Thanks to quick work by Metro Public Safety … as well as a few neighbors with chainsaws … all those road were cleared by midnight.

Louse Creek road remains closed from Spencer Ridge Road to Rick Garland Road due to a mudslide and unsafe hillside conditions.

With all these disaster-related events lately, Metro Moore will be seeking Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)re-imbursement for qualifying work, Public Safety Director Jason Deal told the Metro COncil on Monday.

On Tuesday, Director Deal met with FEMA officials to estimate damage. The FEMA re-reimbursement rate is $3.84 per capita and based on the total population of Metro Moor County. According to the latest census data, Moore County’s population is around 6,384 people. This mean Moore County could qualify for a little over $24,000 in federal reimbursement money.

Director Deal will report back to the Metro Council at their next meeting, which takes place on March 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the American Legion Building. To have your item added to the agenda, contact Mayor Lewis’s office at 931-759-7076.•

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Metro wins traffic signal grant

LOCAL NEWS —Metro Mayor Bonnie Lewis just happened to be with a state transportation official last November when he noticed that the traffic lights notifying drivers of a school zone in front of MCHS on Highway 55 were barely visible.

“There’s a transportation grant to help with that,” he told her. “But I’m pretty sure the deadline is today.”

Later that day, Mayor Lewis sat in a doctor’s office parking lot applying for the grant on her mobile phone. Five months later, TDOT awarded Metro Moore County a $31,000 grant to install new traffic signals at the high school.

“I’m pretty sure we had some of the oldest lights in that state,” Mayor Lewis told the Metro Council on Monday. “And their visibility is pretty bad.”

The Traffic Signal Modernization Program (TSMP) grant is a pilot program designed to help Tennessee counties to modernize existing traffic signal equipment, upkeep, and operations. The state funds 100 percent of the TSMP and gave away a total of $250,000. Metro Moore received the highest individual grant.

According to state officials, the goals of the grant include reducing traffic accidents, traffic congestion, improve visibility, save energy, reduce maintenance costs, as well as automate the collection of traffic count data.

According to Mayor Lewis, the state will begin work on the new lights at the same time state officials add a turning lane at the high school. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Mayor: Sanitation ordinances need teeth

LOCAL NEWS — Garbage being thrown out the back door to collect on the lawn … garbage being thrown out the front door and rolling down the hill … properties that look like a junk yard there are so many dead vehicles lying around. Issues like these affect property values, cause neighbor disputes, attract vermin, and tie up local officials with constant complaint calls, according to Metro Mayor Bonnie Lewis, and she needs “teeth” to address them properly.

“We have these laws on the books,” she told the Metro Council on Monday. “But we need teeth to be able to enforce them.”

She’s right. There’s an entire chapter in the Metro Codes book relating to health and sanitation. For example, Metro Code 5-102 states that all persons within Metropolitan Moore County are required to keep their premises in a clean and sanitary condition, free from accumulations of refuse. Metro Code 5-206 addresses health and sanitation nuisances stating that it’s unlawful for any resident to allow any premise owned, occupied, or controlled by them to become and remain filthy. There are also laws revolving around stagnant water, weeds, dead animals and other public health issues.

Sheriff Tyler Hatfield reminded the Metro Council that these offense are civil and not criminal.

“We can cite them into General Sessions court but without consequences and fines, it won’t do much good,” he said.

Mayor Lewis did not come to the meeting without a plan and offered several recommendations which included: official letters from a Metro official to offending homeowners, a fine schedule, the formation of a Metro Sanitation Board, and even charging repeat offenders for clean up and adding it to their property tax bill.

Metro Council member Sunny Moorehead recommended looking at how surrounding counties handle the issue and using the parts of their plans that make sense for the county.

Metro Attorney John T. Bobo also added that Metro would need to handle situation where the offender and the property owner are not the same.

“We’d also want to be very careful not to place ourselves in the middle of private disputes,” he added.

The Metro Council will address the issue further at a future meeting. The next Metro Council meeting takes place on March 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the American Legion Building. To have your item added to the agenda, contact Mayor Lewis’s office at 931-759-7076.•

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Locals raise money for Special Olympics Basketball team

Three Lynchburg athletes play on the Independents Special Olympics Basketball Team, the Independents: brother Brad and Thad Reeves, and Tim Sullenger (all far right). {Image Provided}

LOCAL NEWS — For such a small town, Lynchburg really does have an enormous heart. Two local businesses have partnered to support three Moore County Special Olympians.

Lynchburg boasts three outstanding athletes on the Special Olympics Tennessee Area 13 – Lower Cumberland Region basketball team: Tim Sullenger, and brothers Brad and Thad Reeves. Two Moore County small businesses are hosting a public fundraiser to help get their team, The Independents, new jerseys.

Velma’s Candy and Lynchburg T Shirt Company are working together to purchase not only new jerseys but matching shorts for players. They’re using the Facebook fundraising feature to raise money. Their goal is $600. As of this article, they reached $465 of that goal. Click here to donate. Or if you would prefer to give in person, please stop by Lynchburg T Shirts located at 359 Majors Bolevard. One hundred percent of all money raised will go to the team. Any additional money raised will be donated to the team to help cover their team travel expenses. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}